TopTV joins forces with Playboy TV
Cape Town – On Digital Media (ODM) that runs the TopTV pay platform in South Africa has already signed an agreement with Playboy TV in America to add three pornographic TV channels, or as the industry refers to them – adult channels – to a separate new porn package in 2012, with the pay TV operator saying "we need to be alive to the desires of our client base".
TopTV, which has struggled to secure sport rights and has added no new commercial TV channels to its general bouquet in 2011, has signed carriage agreements with the bunny purveyor of porn which will all carry an R18 rating for hardcore pornography.
"We weighed the pros and cons of adding these to our bouquet," said TopTV. "As a pay TV broadcaster, TopTV is in the business of distributing content which includes TopTV aggregated channels as well as 3rd party channels. In mid-2011 we were approached by Playboy TV who had three adult video channels on offer."
TopTV's porn plans are surprising since CEO Vino Govender said just before launch in May 2010 that TopTV will not be carrying adult TV channels.
"We are running our business with strong Christian ethical codes and we are not planning to introduce a porn channel," Govender said in May 2010. "Besides, we don't want to poison the minds of millions of South African children out there."
TopTV said: "We are not altering our focus to adult content only as it remains but one of the genres that we incorporate into our bouquet". TopTV said the pay TV platform is "not seeking to distance itself from its positioning as a family values-orientated service provider".
The desires of the client base
"As a business we need to be alive to the desires of our existing and future client base and we always aim to balance all competing interest. Stagnating to past statements will not serve changed needs from our clients or assist with our growth," TopTV has admitted.
TopTV said the company commissioned research and that the research – which was not made available – "was considered in our decision to add the channels".
TopTV said that the pay TV service is "well aware that adult content is a very sensitive subject and as a result we have structured the channels as an additional stand-alone package such that those who do not subscribe to the channels will in no way be exposed to the content, the electronic programme guide (EPG) or anything associated with the channels as these channels will be fully encrypted."
TopTV said the company "looked into this from all possible angles and as people with families we are very mindful of our subscribers. We are not altering our focus to adult content only.
"We are aware that there will be people opposed to such content. However, as a subscription broadcaster catering for various niche audiences, we need to accommodate as many interests as possible."